South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday September 29, 2020

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July 2018 - Volume 15 - Issue 1


Moving Tumors Targeted with New Radiation Therapy Technology

During radiation therapy, the smallest movement by the patient ― from an inhalation to a swallow ― can make it difficult for doctors to precisely pinpoint a tumor and deliver cancer-fighting radiation. But at Miami Cancer Institute, thanks to the ViewRay MRIdian® Linac, doctors are now able to account for movement and adapt each treatment in real time. The Institute is one of only a handful of sites in the U.S. to offer this technology.

The sophisticated treatment, which combines an MRI scanner with a linear accelerator, provides continuous magnetic resonance imaging of the tumor and nearby normal tissues during the entirety of each radiation treatment. The ability to see both the tumor and surrounding organs constantly throughout radiation delivery makes it possible to personalize treatment based on changes in the shape or location of the tumor and nearby tissues using on-table adaptive therapy.
“This technology is a potential game-changer in the field of radiation therapy, and certainly changes the landscape of highly precise, sophisticated radiation therapies available to cancer patients in South Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Minesh Mehta, M.D., deputy director of Miami Cancer Institute and its chief of Radiation Oncology.
“A novel feature of this treatment platform allows us to further improve patient outcomes by adapting each treatment based on subtle daily changes in anatomy. This can further reduce the risk of side effects and improve tumor control,” said Michael Chuong, M.D., a radiation oncologist with Miami Cancer Institute. “In addition, it’s possible to safely deliver a higher radiation dose to tumors while minimizing normal tissue dose.”
High-definition magnetic resonance-guided radiation therapy addresses specific challenges, including beam distortion, skin toxicity and other safety concerns, which may potentially occur when high magnetic fields interact with radiation beams. It is particularly effective in precisely targeting tumors that move with respiratory motion, such as those located in the lung, liver, pancreas and adrenal gland. Studies have shown that even bladder fullness, which can change in less than 45 minutes, can impact the position of a nearby tumor.
Miami Cancer Institute, located on the campus of Baptist Hospital of Miami, is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest not-for-profit healthcare organization in the region. “We are the only cancer center in the world to offer each of the latest radiation therapy technologies in one integrated location,” Dr. Mehta said.
In addition to the MR-Linac, the Institute’s comprehensive radiation oncology program includes Gamma Knife, CyberKnife, TrueBeam linear accelerators, TomoTherapy Radixact, pencil-beam scanning proton therapy, and multiple brachytherapy and radionuclide therapies. The Institute unveiled its state-of-the-art pencil-beam scanning Proton Therapy Center in March 2018 ― the first cancer center in the area to offer this form of radiation treatment.
The ViewRay MRIdian® Linac is the world’s first and only FDA-cleared MR image-guided radiation therapy system.

For more information about MR image-guided radiation therapy at Miami Cancer Institute, call (786) 596-2000 or visit

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